This Sunday night at 8:30 pm at CenturyLink Field, the former kings of the NFC will face a formidable foe. The Seattle Seahawks, who have been the pride of the NFC since 2013, will take on the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, Seattle will be missing key contributors, two-thirds of their “Legion of Boom” that made them perennial contenders.
But that doesn’t take away from the symbolic significance of this matchup. Pete Carroll’s squad has laid waste to most of the NFC for the past 4 years. Nowadays, their once elite defense is slowing down, showing signs of weakness. Now is the perfect time for a new team to strike and take the crown.
The Philadelphia Eagles are making things look easy in 2017. They have dominated for nine straight weeks, no matter their opponent. Despite injuries at key positions, the Eagles are the one team in the NFL without an obvious weakness. They are fundamentally sound on offense, defense, and special teams.
Similar to Seattle in 2012 and 2013, the Eagles have a young defense with playmakers at every position. While Seattle’s highlight has always been its secondary, the Eagles are becoming known for their disruptive defensive line. Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan have anchored the best run-stopping unit in the NFL, while Brandon Graham and rookie Derek Barnett have combined for 11.5 sacks.
While Seattle has shown weaknesses on both offense and defense, Russell Wilson has been their main bright spot. With the team virtually unable to find a reliable running back, Wilson has accounted for 82.8 percent of Seattle’s total passing plus rushing yards so far this season. These insane numbers are prompting some to mention Wilson’s name in MVP discussions.
A regular in those same discussions has been sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has been nothing short of spectacular, even Houdini-like at times. He’s showing all the makings of a true leader and a field general, taking command of Doug Pederson’s offense.
While Seattle’s window seems to be coming to a close, the Eagles’ window is just opening. Led by a young core of great players at key positions, their future is looking bright. The Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to overtake Seattle as the new top dog in the NFC. And it all starts on Sunday night.